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External Hard Drives back up and working drives

New Here ,
Apr 04, 2021 Apr 04, 2021

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Hey guys!

So I have a Lightroom/Back Up External Hard drives question.

So obviously as a wedding photographer I always back up all my drives. I work on Windows and I work off only external drives. I have always just literally copied and pasted the whole drive to each back up. So my first question is... is this the best way to do that?

secondly, I now want have like working drive but only have like the one folder I'm working on available, is there a way to do that? I hope that makes sense. I have been struggling to find answers online but hoping someone here is a genius.

😂😅

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How to, Import and export, Windows

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 04, 2021 Apr 04, 2021

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Working with Lightroom Classic, it's always a good idea to have a backup of your images on a separate hard drive. The method you choose for creating that backup is up to you because Lightroom doesn't create any backup of the images. But just as importantly, you need to have a backup of the catalog because that file is what contains all of the adjustments you have made to those images. Lightroom Classic (or even Lightroom for the cloud for that matter) doesn't touch the images. They always remain in their pristine state. So it's critical to have backups of the catalog stored separately from the images and separately from the hard drive where the catalog is operating from.

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New Here ,
Apr 05, 2021 Apr 05, 2021

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woah. okay so simply copying and pasting all the files in like the explorer would not translate those changes? 

 

I wanna make sure I'm understanding that correctly 

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LEGEND ,
Apr 05, 2021 Apr 05, 2021

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quote

woah. okay so simply copying and pasting all the files in like the explorer would not translate those changes? 

 

I wanna make sure I'm understanding that correctly 


By @defaultb7ei5daht76c

 

You are understanding that correctly. A complete Lightroom Classic backup includes the catalog file, the original images, and if you use custom presets, then you ought to make backups of those as well.

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New Here ,
Apr 05, 2021 Apr 05, 2021

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so what is the best way to back up that drive? at the end when. you exit?

 

I would love to learn better of course!

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LEGEND ,
Apr 05, 2021 Apr 05, 2021

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I have always just literally copied and pasted the whole drive to each back up. So my first question is... is this the best way to do that?

 

Are you talking about Lightroom Classic? If so, the above is not the best way, it is not even a good way to do this. What you really need is third party backup software that can make automated backups at some regular frequency (daily, weekly, whatever you feel is appropriate) without human intervention. Why is this necessary? Because humans doing the backup has all the problems associated with human beings, that humans can forget, humans can be too busy, humans can be lazy, etc. and then the backup doesn't get done, and that increases the risk that you will lose work. NOTE: Lightroom Classic has a feature that allows you to make a regular and automated backup of your catalog file on a separate hard disk, you should definitely turn this on; but this feature does not make backups of your photos and does not make backups of your custom presets.

 

secondly, I now want have like working drive but only have like the one folder I'm working on available, is there a way to do that?

 

I have no idea what you mean by "available". The only method I would recommend is to import your photos into Lightroom Classic and then DO NOT DELETE them from Lightroom Classic, unless these are clearly unusable (out of focus, horribly underexposed, horribly overexposed, etc.). All of your editing work, plus user provided metadata (captions, titles, keywords, etc.) are in your Lightroom Classic catalog, and deleting the photos from the catalog means that you lose this work, the work is gone. Don't do this.

 

 

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New Here ,
Apr 05, 2021 Apr 05, 2021

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I use the creative cloud and use Lightroom Classic from it yes. All my working files are on exeternal drive. all my back ups are on external drives.  I have a laptop currently for what I work off of. SO what is the best solution or way of having the main external drive to be backed up. I am I understanding with that catalog open in Lightroom I will have the ability through the software and that will transfer changes etc.?

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LEGEND ,
Apr 05, 2021 Apr 05, 2021

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As I said, third party software that automatically (and without human involvement) and on a regular schedule makes backups is the best solution.

 

The Lightroom Classic built-in catalog backup feature makes backups of all of your work. It does not make backups of the photos; it does not make backups of custom presets.

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New Here ,
Apr 05, 2021 Apr 05, 2021

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do you know of any third party software that does perform those tasks?

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LEGEND ,
Apr 05, 2021 Apr 05, 2021

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On Windows, WinZip PRO will do this, but there are many programs, including some freeware that can make regular and automated backups. https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=backup%20software

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New Here ,
Apr 05, 2021 Apr 05, 2021

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With those programs it should copy the files, the catalogs, the changes to the images in Lightroom, etc. from one EXTERNAL to another? okay I'll have to look into it

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 05, 2021 Apr 05, 2021

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Any good backup software will be able to maintain mirrored copies across any two volumes…internal and external, two internals, two externals, any combination. You simply tell it which volume is the original and which volume should contain the backup.

 

Also, any good backup software will be able to do incremental backups. For example, if you have a total of 2TB of photos that take hours to copy, and you changed 23 photos today, then when you back up, the software should be able to scan the file system, notice exactly which 23 files changed, and update only those 23 files on the backup. So instead of having to copy and paste everything or trying to remember which files changed, you just start the backup software and sit back, it updates just the 23 changed files, and the backup update is finished in like 2 minutes.

 

As for when to do the backup, the question to ask is always “How much time can you afford to lose?” If a business cannot afford to redo 4 hours of editing, they will back up less than every 4 hours, like every hour. A home hobbyist who doesn’t care if they lose a day of work might only back up after a day. You can decide how many hours of rework you can tolerate, and you back up more often than that.

 

Of course, if you just imported some valuable photos that are impossible to retake, like a wedding, then you should back up as soon as those photos are on your computer.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 05, 2021 Apr 05, 2021

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A good reliable backup of images only needs to be done once because Lightroom doesn't touch the images. The import process is simply a process of copying the images to the drive and adding them to the catalog, which is a database. After that, all the adjustments, cropping, adding to the collections, keywording, everything you do in Lightroom is simply working with that catalog. So if you ensure that the images are backed up securely by whatever means you are confident with, it is then critical to ensure that the catalog is backed up on a regular basis. That could be daily, every time Lightroom closes, weekly, whatever you choose. And the backup needs to be directed to a folder on the drive other than where the original catalog operates. Otherwise, if that hard drive crashes and that is where the backup is located, you are out of luck.


Besides backing up to external hard drives, you might consider looking into cloud services such as Google Drive, for example. Utilizing such as service places client images and other valuable images off site in case of some unexpected disaster that could destroy even a carefully stored external device. Google Drive is only one suggestion, there are many such services available.

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